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    YOUR CAR DASHBOARD SIGNS – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

    You get into your car and start it just like any other day, everything seems fine. But there is an unfamiliar icon flashing on the dashboard, then you think to yourself “What sorcery is this?”.

    It’s just one of the many ways your car is built to communicate with you, in this case it’s a form of a warning light. You might have a wild imagination of what the symbols mean, but who am I to judge? 😛 But here is a list to explain what each of them mean and what you should do.

    1. Failed Helicopter Design

    check-engine-light

    Severity Level: ΔΔΔΔΔ

    You won’t be flying with your car anyway. It’s the engine warning light.

    This could indicate potential engine damage. You may experience some unusual complexity – for instance a lack of power, it is as if your car is limping caused by misfire, or the engine just doesn’t respond normally. More like than not, it could be as small as a faulty sensor in the car.

    You should get it diagnosed straight away to prevent further and potentially irreparable damage.

    download-carput

    2. Genie in a Bottle

    oil-pressure-warning-light

    Severity Level: ΔΔΔΔΔ

    You won’t be making any wish come true. It’s the oil warning light.

    This will light up if the oil temperature gets too hot, the amount of oil is insufficient or oil pressure drops too low. Inadequate oil and low oil pressure is something you want to avoid. The oil pressure prevents it to be pulled by gravity to the bottom of the engine. Drop in oil pressure can be caused by a faulty oil pump, a leaking oil pipe or insufficient oil in the engine.

    You should stop the car immediately and turn off the engine if you see the warning light. Check the oil level and top it up if needed. If the problem persists, give the professionals a call.

     3. Steamboat!

    brake-warning-light

    Severity Level: ΔΔΔΔ

    Sure you wish it means steamboat time on a rainy day. It’s actually the brake warning light.

    Your car’s brakes are the most crucial component of the vehicle. It’s likely that you left the handbrake on, just make sure it’s fully released. If the light is still lit, it could be that your car is low on brake fluid or something more severe. Or it could be just the sensor is faulty.

    A faulty braking system can be quite apparent. If the brake pedal is less firm and hits the floor when you push it, you should not be driving the car until it is fixed!

    4. Robot wink 😉

    car-battery-warning-light

    Severity Level: ΔΔΔΔ

    It’s the battery charge warning light, folks.

    It is commonly mistaken to be solely a battery issue. It’s actually a problem with the electrical system. It could be a faulty alternator, bad battery, connection loss or damaged cable in the engine bay. When there is no charging, your car is running only on the remaining electrical power left in the battery which runs out pretty quickly. Your car will just shut off while you are driving on a highway!

    Affects of failure can be of many possibilities. Do not jump to conclusion but instead explain the symptoms to your car experts and make sure they check the entire charging system.

    5. Samurai On-board

    seatbelt-warning-light

    Severity Level: ΔΔΔ

    You won’t be killing any Bill. But you and your passengers should fasten the seatbelts.

    On some cars, this warning comes with a unpleasant noise too.

    6. Satay Celup or Lok-lok

    temperature-warning-light

    Severity Level: ΔΔΔΔ

    It’s not really something tasting great in your engine. The temperature warning light indicates that the engine is running too hot or coolant is insufficient in the system.

    In worse case scenario, you will be left stranded with steam covering the engine bay. This could be cause by a malfunction car radiator or worst a blown head gasket.

    Stop the car immediately if you see the warning light as driving hot for too long may lead to total engine failure.

    7. You’re Drunk

    traction-control-warning-light

    Severity Level: ΔΔΔΔ

    Nope, not guilty as charged. It’s the traction-control warning light. 

    You’ll normally see this when the wheels loose grip, usually in the rain. Your car is giving you an indication that you are close to the limit of grip. Meaning you should slow down.

    If it’s on constantly, it might be that the traction-control is deactivated. Deactivation could be by you switching the system off or by fault. If it’s the latter, you should get it checked.

    8. Espresso Glass Empty

    tyre-pressure-warniogn-light

    Severity Level: ΔΔΔΔ

    No it’s not your morning caffeine fix. This tyre-pressure sensor warning is more common on newer car models.

    The system consistently monitors the tyre pressure and gives a warning when there’s a drop in pressure. Optimum tyre pressure is crucial for a safe drive, so do check and inflate your tyres whenever you see the warning.

    9. Suicidal Smartphone

    fuel-warning-light

    Severity Level: ΔΔΔ

    This is pretty much self-explanatory. When the amount of fuel left in the tank passed a certain level, the low-fuel warning light will come on.

    When it comes on, you have approximately 80-100km of range, lower if your car have a smaller fuel tank. It is designed to give you enough warning to find a fuel station.

    10. Acrobatic Stunt

    glow-plug-warning-light

    Severity Level: ΔΔΔΔ

    If your car is running on diesel, this is the glow plug warning light.

    Diesel-powered vehicles use compression and temperature to generate combustion in the air/fuel mixture. Glow plugs are used to turn up the heat and the symbol indicates a malfunction plugs or even the computer system that controls them. Complications with glow plugs can induce early and late combustion, and the symptoms is a rough engine noise and not running smoothly.


    These warning symbols are not challenge badges that you collect like when you were a scout. Take these warning lights seriously as you may not know what will happen to your car the next moment if you decide to ignore it.

    Download the CARPUT app for roadside assist for towing, car battery change, jumpstarts, flat tyre help and emergency petrol delivery.

    carput, car breakdown

    February 16, 2017
    written by Isaac Wong
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